I think there are more people who hate job interviews than like them. They are exhausting, take a lot of time and it’s nothing new that many companies tend to ask you to do some tasks in order to see if you are ‘a good fit for them’. Well, there is usually nothing wrong with that, unless they forget that you are not yet working for them and time is money.

Okay, maybe they don’t forget, but they just want somebody to do work for them for free. One Reddit user shared their story online after they had been invited to their 2nd interview and asked to do a test presentation. To spoil a little bit for you – they withdrew their application.

More info: Reddit

Interview tasks are supposed to determine if an applicant is suitable for the position, not to use applicants for free labor

Image credits: Kindel Media (not the actual photo)

Person shares that they had a good interview with one company, but they had bad parking and couldn’t validate it for them during the first interview

Image credits: ThisIsEngineering (not the actual photo)

However, they got invited to the second interview and asked to do a 15-minute presentation as a test with the company’s real earnings report


Image credits: Tima Miroshnichenko (not the actual photo)

The candidate understood that in this company, they won’t be compensated fairly, and withdrew their application

Image credits: u/Chicken_Dinner_10191

They informed the hiring manager that the company is using free labor and a few days later received an offer from another company

A few days ago, this original poster (OP) shared their story online about their recent job interviews, where everything went well (except a bad location and parking), until they were asked to do a test presentation that would take way too much time to not get paid. The post got a lot of attention and collected 7.5K upvotes and 220 comments.

They start by sharing that the first interview went well; however, the location, possibility to work from home and failure by the company to validate parking were a little bit disappointing. Despite that, they got invited to a 2nd interview and asked to do a test presentation that would require a lot of time. The OP summarized the whole assignment as the company expecting employees to work overtime and not be compensated fairly.


On the day, when the interview was scheduled, the author wrote a message to the hiring manager saying that while a 2nd interview is fair, the test presentation is requesting quite a lot of free labor. They add that a few days later, they got an offer from another company for a fully remote position.

Community members discussed that the company would likely decide not to hire OP, but most definitely use this presentation for themselves. “They absolutely would do this. I do video editing for work and I’ve had companies want to have me do a ‘test edit’ for free then try to turn around and use it themselves,” one user wrote. “Just say ‘I haven’t signed an NDA, are you sure you want to give me that data?’” another suggested.

Image credits: Canva Studio (not the actual photo)

So, getting test tasks when applying for a job is common and it doesn’t surprise anyone that much anymore, but what is the actual reason behind this? “Employers use assessment tests like this to verify the skills that you’ve so far only self-reported,” says Alison Green, the founder of Ask a Manager. So basically, the main point is to see if you really have these skills that you say you have.

Also, as annoying as these tasks may be to the candidates, The HR Director states that according to research conducted by the Aberdeen Group, companies that use pre-hire assessment tests will report a 39% lower turnover rate. Also, these tests are more objective than any recruitment processes and can tell more about the person that company is hiring.


Now, it’s obvious that these tests are time-consuming and require a lot of effort (most of them), but candidates are not getting paid for that. Well, Medium discussed the reasons why these pre-employment tasks should actually be paid for. Firstly, it is only reasonable that candidates receive payment for their time, in line with other forms of labor, considering the amount of work involved.

Candidates are more likely to take the assignment seriously and give it their all when they are compensated for their time. It also supports equity and justice in the hiring process. If a test task is offered without payment, people who can afford it and have the time to do it can find it easier to apply, possibly rejecting eligible applicants who can’t work for free.

So as annoying as these tasks may be, depending on the requirements, time and effort candidates need to put into them, they can be useful. But it’s also important that companies don’t forget that it’s not fair to use free labor and ask people to do tasks that would benefit them, such as a presentation about their real income.

Redditors agreed with the author that it’s too much and shared their own stories